24 AKBAR, EMPEROR OF INDIA. actual hunt as a means for exercise and recreation, for training the eye and quickening the blood. Akbar took pleas- ure also in games. Besides chess, cards and other games, fights between animals may especially be mentioned, of which elephant fights were the most common, but there were also contests between camels, buffaloes, cocks, and even frogs, sparrows and spiders. Usually, however, the whole day was filled up from the first break of dawn for Akbar with affairs of government and audiences, for every one who had a request or a grievance to bring forward could have access to Akbar, and he showed the same interest in the smallest ^incidents as in the greatest affairs of state. He also held courts oŁ justice wherever he happened to be residing. No criminal could be punished there without his knowledge and no sentence of death executed until Akbar had given the com- mand three times.25 Not until after sunset did the Emperor's time of recrea- tion begin. Since he only required three hours of sleep26 he devoted most of the night to literary, artistic and scien- tific occupations. Especially poetry and music delighted his heart. He collected a large library in his palace and drew the most famous scholars and poets to his court. The most important of these were the brothers Abul Faiz (with the nom de plume Faizi) and Abul Fazl who have made Akbar's fame known to the whole world through their works. The former at Akbar's behest translated a series of Sanskrit works into Persian, and Abul Fazl, the highly gifted minister and historian of Akbar's court (who to be sure can not be exonerated from the charge of flattery) likewise composed in the Persian language a large his- torical work written in the most flowery style which is the main source of our knowledge of that period. This famous 28 J. T. Wheeler, IV, I, 168. *Loc. cit., 169.